UCL Graduate degrees


Political Science MPhil/PhD

Key information

Programme starts

September 2018

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Tuition fees (2018/19)

£5,060 (FT) £2,530 (PT)
£19,580 (FT) £9,850 (PT)

Application dates

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

As a minimum, an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university (or an overseas qualification of an standard) and a merit at Master's level, with a minimum mark of 65% in the Master's dissertation.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:


Research areas

Academic staff have a strong record of research and publication within all the main subfields of politics, including:

  • British politics: constitutional and parliamentary reform, devolution, freedom of information and electoral participation; alternative electoral systems
  • Comparative politics and government: democratisation and democracy promotion; the politics of ethnicity; political campaigns and electoral behaviour; comparative urban and local politics; public opinion
  • EU politics and public policy: EU decision-making and institutions, regulation and delegation, lobbying, constitutionalism, citizenship and democracy
  • Human rights: human rights and non-state actors; corporate responsibility for human rights violations; theories of human rights and justice; adjudication and interpretation in international legal bodies; democracy, religion and human rights standards; trade and human rights; global poverty and human rights; militias, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and transnational corporations
  • International relations: international peace and security; globalisation and global governance; international migration; international finance and the political economy of development
  • Political economy: comparative and international political economy; distributive politics; public spending and budgeting; economics of happiness; behavioural genetics; political economy of energy and climate change
  • Public policy: business-government relations, including EU and the USA; formal models of executive and bureaucratic politics; and public ethics
  • Political theory: the history of modern political thought – particularly nationalism, liberalism and republicanism; multiculturalism, toleration and citizenship; democracy and constitutionalism within and beyond the nation state; contemporary political philosophy.
More information can be found on the department website: Political Science MPhil/PhD


Departmental and partial bursaries are available for research students applying for entry in 2018.

Several departmental postgraduate teaching assistantships are available annually for enrolled PhD students. The department has AHRC and ESRC Scholarships available for Master's and PhD study. Further details on the department website.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Our research students have entered a wide range of careers including leading academic positions in UK and overseas institutions (universities of Oxford, and Tokyo), international organisations (United Nations, European Commission), private sector (BNP Paribas, GlaxoSmithKline), NGOs (Smithsonian Institution, Amnesty International) and government (Foreign & Commonwealth Office, House of Commons).

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Associate Lecturer, University of Cambridge
  • Junior Research Fellow, University of Oxford
  • Consultant, World Bank
  • Assistant Lecturer, UCL
  • Teaching Fellow in Comparative Politics, UCL


This is one of the few PhD programmes in the UK that provides training in quantitative and qualitative research methods as an intrinsic part of the programme.


Networking opportunities involve particular institutional and departmental connections with key external people and institutions. These are supplementary to the taught element and include speakers from Whitehall, lectures from policymakers and academics, and alumni talking to current students.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Department: Political Science

Student / staff numbers › 78 staff
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Political Science
89% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Contact information

Page last modified on 12 July 2018 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing